Flood victims’ families to receive Rs1m each: PM

Published September 3, 2022
Officials brief Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on flood relief activities in the Ghizer district of Gilgit-Baltistan on Friday. — PID website
Officials brief Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on flood relief activities in the Ghizer district of Gilgit-Baltistan on Friday. — PID website

GILGIT: Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Friday visited a flood-affected village in Ghizer district of Gilgit-Baltistan and announced special packages for the victims of the climate disaster as well as rehabilitation work.

Accompanied by Special Assistant to the Prime Minister Fahd Husain, officials from the National Disaster Management Authority and National Highway Authority, the premier arrived at Gilgit airport on Friday morning.

He was received by his Adviser on Kashmir Affairs and GB Qamar Zaman Kaira, opposition leader in the GB Assembly Amjad Hussain, PML-N GB president and former chief minister Hafeezur Rehman and GB Chief Secretary Mohyuddin Ahmed Wani.

The PM visited the flood-hit Bubar village where he was briefed about relief activities. He was told that the devastating floods had killed 17 people and damaged 249 houses in the village. Moreover, 794 animals and several orchards were washed away.

Illegal construction along rivers banned in Gilgit-Baltistan

Mr Sharif met with the families of flood victims and directed the authorities concerned to pay compensation of Rs1 million to each family that had lost a dear one. He also ordered construction of a five-kilometre metal road to facilitate the villagers, besides announcing Rs100m for the rehabilitation of the village.

According to the GB chief secretary’s office, the PM announced Rs3 billion for rehabilitation and reconstruction in the region. He also directed the NHA to help build six damaged bridges in Ghizer district, adding families in the 10 affected union councils would receive Rs25,000 each.

Furthermore, PM Sharif annou­nced Rs5m for a differently-abled girl who had lost six siblings, her mother and grandmother in Bubar village. He also directed to create an endowment fund in her name as well as ensure her physical wellbeing. A statement from the CS office said the compensation amount would be handed over to the aggrieved families by Saturday morning.

Earlier at a ceremony at the airport, the PM distributed compensation cheques among those whose houses had been either completely or partially destroyed by the Shisper Glacier in Hunza.

Separately, the GB government protested over the PM ignoring the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf-led GB government during his visit. GB Chief Minister Khalid Khurshid Khan and his cabinet members visited Diamer to review relief work.

Addressing a press conference here, GB Information Minister Fatahullah Khan said a special committee had been formed to monitor the flood situation across the region. GB did not generate its own revenue and managed its financial matters through federal grants.

Meanwhile, the GB government on Friday imposed a ban on illegal constructions along rivers and nullahs. Reportedly, illegally constructed residential and commercial buildings along rivers and nullahs across GB had caused diversion of flood waters, creating disasters in residential or agricultural areas.

According to a statement, a three-member committee was constituted under the home secretary to work with all commissioners and deputy commissioners to remove encroachments that harmed public life. Using GIS technology and remote sensing, risk hot-spots would be identified and strict action initiated. Another committee was constituted to resolve issues related to land reforms. The local government and law department were asked to expedite legislation on building bylaws.

Published in Dawn, September 3rd, 2022

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